Bee Book Buzz: Raising Awareness Among Children About Wild Honey Bees in Nepal

LI-BIRD organized a ‘Book-Sharing Programme’ on 26 May 2017 in American Corner, Pokhara Public Library, Pokhara. The programme was organized with an aim to disseminate pictorial books and interact with school children on the importance of wild honey bees in Nepal. Student and teacher representatives from 13 different private and public schools from primary to secondary level from Pokhara and vicinity participated in the programme.

Two pictorial books ‘रानी माैरी’ and ‘भुनभुन माउरी भिरैमा’ have been published by LI-BIRD with financial support from the United Nations Environment Programme – National Coordination Committee for the Republic of Korea (UNEP Natcom for Korea) to raise awareness among children on the importance of wild honey bees in Nepal. LI-BIRD implemented research project ‘Wild Honey Bee Conservation in Nepal’ with UNEP NatCom Korea and Etude House in 2014. The project generated vital information about four wild honey bee species found in Nepal: Apis laboriosa, Apis dorsata, Apis florea and Apis cerena. As per the finding, the population of these honey bees has been declining in Nepal due to human interventions including urbanization and increased use of pesticides.

Mr. Bharat Bhandari sharing the objectives of the programme. Photo: Hem G.C., LI-BIRD.

Wild honey bee plays an important role in the conservation of biodiversity with its pollination services. Honey bee product has medicinal and economical value. Thus, there is a dire need to conserve wild honey bees. As a follow-on of the research project, the pictorial books are published in order to raise awareness about the importance, current status, threats and possible conservation measures of wild honey bees in Nepal.

During the programme, the library copies of the books were handed over to the schools’ representatives and the library. Mr. Ranjit Duwadi of Shree Navin Higher Secondary School and Ms. Roshni Pariyar of Goodwill Activity School recited specific sections of the books: भुनभुन माउरी भिरैमा and रानी माैरी, respectively. The students were found enthusiastic throughout the event, quietly jotting down the notes and running through each line of the books carefully when they were recited. During the interaction session, the teachers and students provided feedback and queries regarding the honey bees and the books. Mr. Krishna Prasad Subedi, a teacher from Sainik Awasiya Maha Vidhyalaya, suggested to organize this kind of events in villages as well so that students acquainted with wild honey bees can participate. Similarly, Mr. Kedar Prasad Dhakal, a teacher from Gandaki Boarding School, recommended to include information about different types of honey bees, and also the working approach of bees which could be a source of inspiration to the children.

Students reciting sections of the book, (left) Ms. Roshni Pariyar, (right) Mr. Ranjit Duwadi. Photo: Hem G.C., LI-BIRD.

Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Deputy Director of Programme Operations of LI-BIRD, and Mr. Indra Prasad Paudel, Programme Officer of LI-BIRD, provided brief information about species of bees, working approaches, life cycle, roles in pollination and primary reasons for declining population and the need to conserve bees in Nepal’s context. Mr. Krishna Prasad Baral, Chairperson, Executive Board, LI-BIRD, emphasized the importance of honey bees in our life, and the need for young generations to be aware of important issues such as this for positive change.

By the end of the programme, the participants shared committment and willingness to share the information on honey bees and work from their respective end to raise awareness and save wild honey bees. 

Click for more photographs of the event.